Finding answers to the weight loss puzzle has never been easy. Generally, humans look for quick weight loss fixes and therefore pick up fad diets, crash diets and other shortcut methods without realizing the fact that diets alone may not work in the long run. Our bodies respond in a different manner to different foods. A diet that is effective for one person may not work for other. Moreover, the reason behind a diet structure working in a short run is that they are filled with complex rules and they forbid an entire food group. Further, there are also several myths attached to weight loss. For example, some people believe that cutting down fats from meals will help in weight reduction. But, in reality, the human body needs good fats to restore energy in the body and support cell growth.
A perfect blend of a balanced diet, an exercise routine, and mental awareness altogether will bring success in your weight loss journey. The process of weight loss takes time, patience and utmost commitment from your side. Consider adding a few steps every week to simplify and enhance your journey towards weight loss. For a long-term success, it is imperative to develop a healthy relationship with the body alongside curbing the emotional triggers to overeat.
Following are some strategies which are not sure shot weight loss techniques but some steps to improve the process:
1. Swear by a healthy diet
A healthy diet means a diet rich with colorful fruits and vegetables, legumes, cereals, etc.. It also includes fish and poultry. Many times, even after cutting down on calories, you lose less weight or no weight. It is advisable to make healthy food choices for a sustained weight loss. Consuming 1000 calories of pizza has a different effect on the body in comparison to 1000 calories of oatmeal. Another trick is to pick a smaller plate and fill it with raw vegetables and fruits. Good visuals appeal to the eye, leaving a pleasant feeling in one’s mind whereas high fiber consumed before meals makes you feel fuller resulting in a lesser amount of calorie consumption.
2. Include smaller portions
When it comes to high fiber and high energy foods, one may not focus on the portion. But for heavy and high calorie, one must take care of the serving size. Some food items have a fixed amount of calories but the process of cooking increases its calories. For example, sugar added to the food during cooking increases the number of calories. If such is the case, then do not go for the whole content, instead opt for a portion to consume. Eating food low in energy and fewer calories helps to satiate small cravings during the day. The key is to incorporate foods that are high in water and fiber content. More vegetables, fruits, and broth-based soups should be preferred over high-fat foods.
3. Early and regular meals
To begin with, find out your meal pattern as well as the timings. Many people find it hard to go without food for long hours which makes them more likely to overeat later. For frequent munching and eating between meals, one must plan healthy mini snacks such as low-fat yogurt with the handful of dry fruits and berries. On the other hand, those who have early meals are less likely to overeat. Researches suggest eating a larger breakfast and less for dinner. A fuller breakfast makes you feel less hungry throughout the day. It speeds up metabolism and gives you more time to burn calories.
4. Realistic goals
Goals keep you motivated but it is necessary to keep the goals realistic. To target a big goal in a short time does not work. Aiming for small goals for short-term helps. During the initial stages, one may feel discouraged or tempted to eat scrumptious meals but one must focus on the benefits of healthy eating and control cravings. You can note down food consumed throughout the day. Also one can make use of tools and applications on smartphones to track their food pattern. Little successes also can help one stay motivated.
5. Quality sleep
If you are proceeding very well with your diet but not focusing on sleep, then this may have an impact on your overall plan. Sleeping for at least seven hours is advisable. The quality of sleep changes fat cells. A poor quality sleep leaves one confused and grumpy. If you are sleep deprived, you will be less focused and feel hungrier. Sleep deprivation for four consecutive days reduces the capacity of the body to use insulin and hence disrupts the hormonal process. Because of excess insulin in the body, all the fat get stored in wrong places of the body which disturbs the process of weight loss. It also leads to serious health problems such as diabetes and blood pressure.
There is a strong correlation between sleep and weight fluctuation. When it comes to sleep, it is better to sleep for seven to nine hours every night.
Like sleep, hydration is also very important for proper body functioning. Drinking plenty of water is essential for overall health. No one can determine if it is 8 glasses or 12 glasses of water to be consumed throughout the day. The intake of water varies from person to person. But one should drink enough water required by the body. Drink much water but never drink beverages to satiate hunger or thirst. Stick with water and refrain from non-alcoholic beverages and detoxifying concoctions.
7. Cook meals at home
Always prefer home cooked food over fast food and never skip meals. When you cook at home, you have a control over the amount of oil and sugar usage. Cooking at home impels you to cook healthier meals whereas while eating out people tend to eat more, resulting in gathering more calories. Prepare low-calorie meals and never ignore proteins. Include proteins in at least one serving of food per day. You can indulge in eating outside once in a while. An occasional treat with small indulgences is appropriate only after succeeding in initial steps.
8. Keep moving
Exercising has always presumed as a way to only lose weight. But the benefits of exercise surpasses mere weight loss. On one hand, exercise aids in weight loss and on the other hand there are other benefits than just burning calories. It is a bit struggling to get out of the sedentary rut and start working out but it is essential for people of every age group to maintain the level of their fitness. To begin with, one can start with simple exercises. A little exercise is better than no exercise at all. Self-motivation is the key to sustain the routine of exercising. Moving slowly and steadily will give long lasting results. Uplifted mood and better sleep are the immediate results of exercising. Rather than obsessing over results, focus on consistency.
Emotional Eating vs. Mindful Eating
It is very important to understand the difference between actual hunger and emotional hunger. We tend to eat more on feeling upset, happy, stressed, angry or lonely. If you want to eat for reasons other than hunger then get occupied with some engaging activities. To counter emotional food cravings, do practice mindful eating. Start with identifying and understanding the emotional triggers that make you overeat and try to eliminate them.
Adopt the following steps for a mindful eating –
- For better weight management, always listen to your body and do not overeat. Overindulgence will satisfy temporarily but will be harmful in the long run.
- Identify your body’s hunger signals. Eat only when you are hungry. Understanding and fulfilling the body’s needs are the keys to nurture your body well.
- Set food environment. Select a good setting for food and follow set timings for your meals. Also, try and eat in the company of others who guide and support you in your weight loss journey.
- While eating, place your entire focus on eating only. Do not multitask during meals. As per research, people tend to eat more while watching television and reading newspapers.
- Think about how the food has reached to you and what are the benefits of the food you are eating. Consider its nutritional value.
Everyone has their unique challenge while losing weight. Some are affected due to hormones or hereditary factors, some due to poor lifestyle and some due to insufficient sleep. However, the bottom line is to make positive life-enhancing changes in one’s routine. The strategies mentioned in this piece may help in weight loss as well as reaping some health benefits. Are you still contemplating over your diet? To clear your confusions and queries, reach out to our expert team at Platinum Wellness as they can help you with achieving a better health that lasts for a lifetime. Contact us today!